Fiction Sneak Peek: July 29, 2023 Issue

Hello, and welcome to this week’s sneak peek, where we look at the fiction in our latest issue.

This week, it’s the July 29, 2023 issue – on sale Wednesday, July 26.

Short Stories

Our opening story is “A Little Henpecked”, by Della Galton – and widowed Amelia’s new feathered friends are providing a welcome distraction. Artwork from Ged Fay.

Young Billy wants to put together a birthday party for his grandad, in Karen Houseman’s “The Grand Plan”. Illustration, Mandy Dixon.

One woman wonders if her neighbours really are more romantic than she and her husband, in Tess Niland Kimber’s “Summer Loving”.

It’s scorchio in Sicily, where Tanino and Melina find themselves contending with a water shortage. Stefania Hartley’s “A Drop In The Bucket” features an illustration from Jim Dewar.

We go back to 1966 for our next story, and memories of one family’s summer holiday visit to an ice-cream parlour. “Sundae Best” is by Becca Robin and illustrated by Kirk Houston (above).

Helen returns to the house where she was fostered, in Gabrielle Mullarkey’s “Whole Again”…

…and 12-year-old Josh is feeling out of place at a family party, in “With Love From Leah”, by Teresa Ashby. Artwork, Karen Milne.


A new serial starts today – Kate Blackadder’s “Footsteps In Ashbridge”, where Lou is concerned about her husband’s reluctance to find a job…artwork from Ruth Blair.

In the final part of Julie Goodall’s “Sandy Stables”, what exactly does the future hold? Artwork by David Young.

Look out for a new serial starting next week!


The library of things can’t open without a party, in Stefania Hartley’s “Welcome To Quayside”…

…while over on Glenda Young’s “Riverside”, can Doreen convince George to share his inheritance?

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!